IMPROVE YOUR PUTTING
To break 80, you have to do two
things when it comes to putting: make
three-putts extremely infrequent and
make a very high percentage from inside
5 feet. First things first: make sure
your stroke and putter match one another.
If you like to take the putter straight back
and through, consider a face-balanced
model. If you prefer to putt with a bit of
an arc in your stroke, you’ll be better off
using a toe-weighted putter. By matching
your stroke to the proper putter design,
you’ll make more short putts, since these
are the ones most dependent on line.
SPEED IS KEY: Proper speed is critical for eliminating three-putts,
because it’s the key to good lag putting.
To improve your distance control, pick a spot
about 10 feet away on the practice green and
try to roll a ball directly onto the spot. Once the
ball comes to rest, try to roll another ball just
past the first, but as close to it as you can.
Don’t come up short—if you do, you have to
start over. Your goal is to get 10 balls into a
10-foot area, each one just a bit farther away
than the previous ball.
WEEK 4 DRILL: PLAY A GAME
If you really want to become
a better putter, you need
some competition that
mimics on-course pressure.
My favorite is a one-on-one
game called “Sinks.” Find a
friend and play nine holes
on the putting green, with
each hole a par 2. One-putts
count for a point, two-putts
are zero, and three-putts are
negative one. Make winning
this game important by
letting the loser buy lunch
and soon enough your lag
putting, and short putting, will
get a lot sharper—especially if
you lose the first game or two.
KILL THOSE FIVE-FOOTERS
News flash: You have to make the knee-knockers if you’re going to break 80, and this is where you’re really going to
have to do a bit of grinding. To begin, find a relatively flat
putt and take 10 balls. From this length, I want you to make
at least 8 out of 10, if not 9. Start putting with the goal of
making 10 in a row. When you miss, start over. I assure you,
the prospect of starting over will eventually sharpen your
focus and make you a better short putter.
WEEK 4 ACTION PLAN: MAKE 80% OF YOUR FIVE-FOOTERS
1. Lock In Your Speed
(30 minutes): Consistent pace is key
for three-putt avoidance,
which is one of the most
common causes of
double bogeys. Perform
the Speed Drill at left
for 30 minutes and
chart your results.
2. Make 10 5-Footers
(45 minutes): Take 10 balls and line
them up 5 feet from
a practice hole. The
goal is to make all 10,
and if you miss one,
you have to start over.
Chart your progress and
see how long it takes
you to make all 10. Phil
Mickelson does this
with 100 balls, so it’s
up to you to work as
hard as you want.
3. Play 'Sinks'
(45 minutes): Hone your competitive
edge against your
best golf buddy.
4. Cross-the-Line Drill
(30 minutes): Continue working on
your go-to drive from Week 2. You want
to fade or draw 10 balls
into the appropriate
area of the fairway
5. Pitch/Chip Drill
(30 minutes): Practice your ability to
get up and down with
the drill from Week 3.
Goal: 8 out of 10 balls
within 5 feet of the cup.